My quarter-sawn oak mantel, above, has been dismantled. See the raw wood exposed, above?
I have been thinking about how to improve my mantel. A recent shopping trip gave me an idea.
To accommodate these:
19th century handcarved pine brackets.
They are resting upside down in case you are wondering.
Those thistles got me. The national symbol of Scotland.
From a local estate, and found at one of our lovely local antique shops.
Soon they will be vertically (and right-side up) attached to my mantel surround,
incorporated as pilasters.
Sort of an antique, longer version of this. One of my mentors recently posted this, below, on her
Pinterest page, and I knew that it was speaking to me.
See how the carved brackets rest and jut right up to the underside of the mantel?
The eye craves balance.
Do you believe me? Have you ever walked into someone’s house and a painting or mirror is hanging askew?
Does it drive you a bit crazy? Don’t you find yourself wanting to straighten it?
Now, it does not always happen in your own house (this is because your brain will tune out the things that you are seeing regularly.)
The same thing happens with symmetry. Quick, off the top of your head, do you have a favorite room in your house, or a room that you really, really love as your dream room that you saw in a magazine?
Check it out. I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that the room is highly symmetrical or balanced.
Rooms that are symmetrical are more pleasing to the eye. They create visual harmony and balance. This is an age-old decorating principle.
Today we’ll look at rooms with “mirror image” symmetry. Come along!
So, symmetry for the furniture placement is a decorating form that is pleasing to the eye.
“Mirror-image” symmetry is what we see in the bedroom above. Other than the focal point bed+ starburst mirror, there are two of
Even the nosegays on the bedsides are identical.
The same design principle is true when the decorating is done around a focal point fireplace, or any other focal point.
Tip #1: Use real art, not a mirror, over the fireplace. This will provide depth and character.
Tip #2: If you have a collection, pair it with complementary real art for a statement that is yours alone:
Tip #4 Select art with a color palette that looks good with the rest of the room. This is a good place for a pop of color (that you should repeat three more times in the room.)
Tip #5 No dinky accessories. (These are nicely proportioned.)
Tip #6 Handcrafted vases, antique vases, bronzes, antique tapestry hangings, are all good possibilities. Take a look around your house for others. Look for pieces with presence to accessorize.
Tip #7 This is your main focal point in the room. Make it count.
Source: saffroniabaldwin.com via Ann on Pinterest
Tip #7 Use sconces.
Tip #8 No framed family photographs. Find other accessories for a more current overall look.
Tip #9 Remember that you must balance the large dark hole of the firebox. Think deep and rich, not dainty, for the over mantel décor.
(#9 Balance the dark hole of the firebox)